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Teacher Tip

Illustration: Mark Hoffmann/i2iart

An illustrated image of a child looking at a jar filled with colourful pompoms.

Reinforce positive character traits with Warm Fuzzies! Start spreading the joy with colourful pompoms, clear (dollar store) containers with lids and printed labels that say “My Warm Fuzzy Collection.” To begin, distribute a labelled container to each little do-gooder (Grades 1 thru 6) while you explain the rules: You’ll reward them with a pompom whenever you observe or hear that they’ve done something kind. This includes picking up a friend’s fallen crayon, helping someone who’s hurt and complimenting a classmate’s latest creation. Your students will quickly take pride in each pompom they earn, and they’ll soon be letting you know who is worthy of the next Warm Fuzzy.

Sharlene Gilbert, OCT
J.W. Walker School, Fort Frances

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Game on!

Whether your classroom is in North Bay or the GTA, every student in Ontario can take part in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games ( with these four new, free Ministry of Education approved resources available at

➔ Activity Day Kits (K–8)

The Ministry of Education is creating a kit that includes all of the materials (implementation guide, activity cards, etc.) required to set up a Pan Am/ Parapan Am Activity Day where students can compete in some of the 51 sports that will be featured at the Games. Available later this year.

➔ Kids ’n Play (Grades 1–8)

This guide details everything you need to know about the Games and how to integrate related activities and healthy living lessons within the curriculum. Participating schools in the accompanying Passport to Fun are eligible to win prizes that range from musical instruments to sport equipment.

➔ Playsport (K–12)

Access Ministry of Education-designed activities and videos to help improve student health and physical literacy. Available later this year.

➔ My Personal Best (K–12)

Helps teacher and students assess the four components of physical literacy (living, fitness and movement skills, as well as active participation) and target areas to improve. Register online for the Passport for Life tool to track students’ physical activity level when they complete lessons and games. —Sabrina Razack, OCT

Meet the Mascot

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am (July 10–26) and Parapan Am Games (August 7–14) will see more than 7,500 athletes compete in 51 sports throughout southern Ontario. This marks the third time that Canada is hosting the Games and the first time that PACHI the porcupine is welcoming everyone.

The mascot has 41 multicoloured quills, one for each of the participating Pan American countries. He was designed by four Grade 8 Buttonville PS students in Markham, Ont., as part of a nationwide contest.

Want to invite PACHI to visit your school? Email before May 1, 2015, to request a visit.


Show your support for the Toronto 2015 Games for a chance to win one of five fantastic teacher packages! Email [subject line “Teachers are excited about the Games!”] by April 30 for your chance at T-shirts, pencils, bracelets, pens and more.